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Bill McCollum On Sugar Land Deal: No

I just got through talking to the McCollum campaign and they just sent me a short, sweet answer on the Sugar Land Deal, the so-called “Big Sugar Bailout” and “Crist’s Bailout”, by the South Florida Water Management District. Basicly, they want to buy 28,000-acre for $197 Million from US Sugar. There has been questions as to where McCollum stands on the issue. Well, Bill McCollum doesn’t support it:

“Our state can’t afford it and Bill’s position has been consistent. The deal is too expensive and Bill is committed to Everglades restoration.”

It is true that Bill McCollum wants to restore the Everglades, but he wants to do it in a way that doesn’t cost our state more than it can afford (skip to page 5):

Florida has embarked on a noble effort to restore the Everglades, yet this process has been challenged both by funding and logistic difficulties, as well as a lack of commitment from our federal partners. The direction and mission of this great project has continued to change, but the goal remains the same. As Governor, I will work with all parties involved to decide on the best course of action, based on scientifically sound principles and at a cost Florida can afford, and move forward decisively with a long-term strategic plan. The future of our state depends on the proper restoration of the Everglades and I am committed to these efforts moving forward.

There is also points in reforming the Water Management District on page 6 and 7.

Maybe some day we can buy that land from US Sugar for a reasonable price, but not now. We have enough problems and I thank Bill McCollum for clearing this up for us.

I remember when selling that Everglade land to US Sugar created an outrage. I am no ultra-environmentalist, but I do care about the Florida Everglades. My namesake (The American Alligator) lives in those swamps. I, like McCollum, want to restore these wetlands. However not at this time and not at such a steap price. We need to set proities and McCollum agrees. I look forward to the day when we have a budget surplus and then we can do this worthwhile project.

[Cross-Posted On Practical State.com]

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